Tuesday, March 5, 2013


I want to support the idea of activism mentioned in prior posts and comments.  Prof. Campos, Tamanaha, and the wider media coverage have helped to draw attention to the law school scam.  However, the only way to avoid these revelations fading into the anonymity of the endless news-cycle-loop and blogosphere junkyard is through a coordinated and sustained effort.  Our effort to write posts about various current events within the scam, including reporting on the opposition, helps to keep us informed. 

Here are some other thoughts:

1) The idea of well-placed information and fliers in law schools and undergraduate libraries is excellent -- provided that it becomes a consistent project.  It makes the scam message impossible to ignore.  By bringing it to the youngest students before they apply to law school, it helps to counteract the empty slogans that those kids have heard throughout their lives about educational debt being "good debt" and more education/degrees/credentials always being a good thing.  It also may draw them to Inside the Law School Scam and to this blog.  In the law schools themselves, it may help to encourage disillusioned 1Ls to get out early before they build up substantially more debt.

2) A coordinated campaign to educate pre-law counselors would help to spread the message as well.  A concise cover letter and fliers may help.  As previously mentioned, alumni will have the most credibility with delivering the message.  My prelaw counselor loved me, and she would at least take my concerns seriously.  I am sure many of you will have credibility with your own counselors.

3) Do we have any artists that could help create a catchy logo for fliers?  I think Outside the Law School Scam should become more than just a perceptive blog: it should become a movement.  Creative visual artists, if you feel inspired, please show us what you’ve got!  Perhaps someone could design a logo with a carnival barker dressed in judicial robes leading a line of 1L lemmings into a circus tent with a "Law School" sign and a caption saying, "There's a sucker born every minute."  (I am sure that other people could come up with much better ideas).

4) We could start to reveal truths only discussed in rumors.  For example, everyone talks about scholarship sections, where the law schools offer a large amount of scholarships to a large percentage of students but make the scholarships contingent on maintaining a minimum law school GPA.  These scholarships are supposed to entice students with the highest LSAT scores into attending.  Then, the law school places the majority of these students into one section and waits for the curve to weed out a large portion of the scholarships.

It would not be difficult to prove these trends.  If we could get 1Ls at schools to pass out a two-question survey to fellow students, we could get solid numbers.  Question 1: Did the law school offer you a scholarship contingent on maintaining a minimum GPA? Question 2: What section are you in?

If we could reveal a trend amongst law schools, or even just bust one law school at a time, we could blow the lid off of this story.

5) The First Department in New York, when affirming the dismissal of the New York Law School case, mentioned that they found the manipulation of employment and salary data troublesome but that such complaints were best left to ethics committees.  Similarly, a few voices, including a recent law review article by Ben Trachtenberg, discuss the specific ethical violations perpetrated by the administrators of 99% of law schools.

Is anyone up for signing onto ethics complaints against dishonest law school administrators who still perpetuate fake employment data despite the reform efforts?  These efforts will keep the law school scam in the news, regardless of whether the administrators actually end up receiving sanctions.

These are just my thoughts.  Other people will have much better ideas, so let’s hear them!  We are interested!


  1. First! Again!


  2. Well played, Sir, well played.

  3. At my law school, each student had a mailbox (a folder in a cabinet in the law school lobby) where people placed flyers, notices etc. I would love to go there and drop off some nice flyers into each students mailbox (that is if the admin doesn't notice and throw me off campus).

  4. Flyers in current students' mailboxes ... why? The point is to stop (more, not all) people from going in the first place. You might get a few to drop out with a couple of flyers in their mailboxes, but it's better to start earlier in the pipeline -- before people waste years of time preparing for law school and not a small amount of money.

  5. Agreeeeeeeedddd!!

    What we do not need is another blog that is all talk and just looking at there problems from a theoretical standpoint. I think we need to do two things.

    First, we need to crystallize the scam. We need to figure out the specifics. The scholarship section thing would be a good example like the poster said. Does anyone know if this is true? What evidence is there? It's an attractive rumor, but what basis does it have in reality? For all we know, it's just one of those myths that gets handed around until people think it's true. We need more specifics about this and everything else. So first is research.

    And second, along with research, we need activism. We have GOT to take this message out beyond the blog. This represnets such a small fraction of law students and applicants. 7000 views? That's nothing. We need to get the attention of those people out there who are ignoring us or don't know about us.

    ITLSS suffered from a huge apathy problem. Lots of comments but no action. THere were lots of good ideas in the comments too but they were all "somebody should..." ideas in the hope that somebody else was not you. Now is the time for us to all try to put these comments into actual action.

  6. The idea of well-placed information and fliers in law schools and undergraduate libraries is too passive. Co-ordinated action is needed. Think what would happen if every reader of this blog sent a letter to the AG of Massachusetts asking her to sue the local law schools for violations of the state unfair and deceptive practices act.

  7. Have a "Disappointment of the Month" campaign. Start with schools that failed the transparency index at LST. Collect misleading marketing pieces from law schools and fisk them.

    Announce the award each month. Be polite but call them out. Put out a photo of the dean. Urge alums to call and ask the school why they did what they did.

    Send out a press release to the local newspapers near the school.

    Post a petition where students can sign under their name or anonymsously to say that they will not donate to the school until it corrects the problem.

  8. Simple but I think worthwhile. Write your legislator. These people are the ultimate "deciders" as it were. I think education reform has become politically attractive. Surprisingly, I actually received a note back:

    "Thank you for contacting my office regarding higher education policy. I appreciate hearing your thoughts on this issue.

    For decades, the federal government has subsidized education in an attempt to increase access to a college or university education. Yet today, tuition is actually less, not more, affordable, and the cost continues to rise. Federal subsidies may temporarily benefit institutions of higher education, but they hurt students by manipulating the economic incentives associated with education decisions. Easy-to-obtain loans seem like "free money" until the students graduate and they find themselves saddled with a huge pile of debt they're unable to repay.

    Instead of perpetuating this cycle, we need to reform our federal education programs by simplifying the many federal tuition credits and returning education policy to state and local governments.

    I will keep your comments in mind as I consider legislation on these issues. Thank you again for contacting me, and please feel free to contact my office if I can be of further assistance.

    Justin Amash
    United States Representative
    Third District of Michigan"

    This sounds like a canned comment, but still nice that the comment was read (by someone). Every Senator and Rep has their own website where you can send them an email. Do it, tell your friends to do it, tell your family to do it. It doesn't take long. You cannot do it anonymously because you have to provide info that you are a constituent, but I am sure these comments are not disclosed.

    1. Someone actually........did something?

      That is a first for the scamblogs!

  9. Frontline & David Segal of the NYT.

  10. Heeeeeeelp! It smells like a huuuge "Seton Hall Law" is lodged in one of the office toilets!

  11. John/Painter - email me. I'm all for letting everyone have their say, but I can't have the comments section on every blog post here turn into a discussion about you instead of the issues.

    outsidethelawschoolscam at gmail.com.

    1. Yes, he's killing this blog. I guess he's talking to himself or something. He needs professional help. Block him.

  12. Hey guys. Just want to let you know I'm with you all the way. I feel your pain. I started law school, but quit after I read all these blogs.

    I think what we need is a sign up sheet for people who will actually write in to their state legislature. Get a rejection, get a canned note, get whatever and post them on here. Badges of honor. Hey, at least we tried.

    1. I think you're on the right track. We can be a lethargic, unmotivated bunch at times (me too), and we need to find ways to make it simple to engage in this movement beyond the walls of this blog. Form letters would be useful (or the body of the letter that can easily be tailored and sent, eliminating 90% of the workload.) Every little helps.

  13. People say images setting out the facts in tabular or graphic form are more effective than lengthy written screeds. Something like what LST does, but laying out debt and job prospects.

    Also an alternative ranking with categories students should really care about. Forget academic reputation or practitioner reputation. Schools should be rewarded for 1) low tuition, 2) getting students good jobs.